F1 2014 Driver Review: Daniil Kvyat


Daniil Kvyat

Team: Scuderia Toro Rosso
Car No.: 26
Races: 19
Wins: 0
Podiums (excluding wins): 0
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 8
Laps Led: 0
Championship Position: 15th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

As rookie seasons go, Daniil Kvyat didn’t exactly tear out of the traps and make a huge impression in 2014, scoring just eight points with a best finish of ninth. However, this does not tell the full story of a quietly impressive rookie year that saw him show a maturity and skill beyond his 20 years.

The unpronounceable Russian was particularly impressive in qualifying, starting fifth in both Russia and in Abu Dhabi. The Toro Rosso’s race pace was lacking in 2014, but the fact that Jean-Eric Vergne scored almost three times as many points in the same car provides a damning indictment on Kvyat’s first year.

Nevertheless, he was sidelined by a number of issues across the course of the year when in the running for points, and is clearly highly rated at Red Bull – he will replace Sebastian Vettel for 2015. Quite the rapid promotion, but will it be too rapid?

There is more to come from Kvyat, so let’s not make too swift a judgement just yet. However, a best finish of P9 makes it difficult to sing from the rooftops about his first year in F1.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

The Russian rookie did an admirable job in his debut season in F1. You almost forget Daniil Kvyat was only 19 when the year began because once 2014 had ended, he’d turned 20 and gotten a quick promotion to the Red Bull squad from Toro Rosso.

Kvyat made an impressive nine appearances in Q3 occurred this year, with his best start of fifth occurring twice – notably on home soil in Sochi. While his results weren’t great as a follow-up – he bagged points in three of his first four races, then only twice in the remaining 15 – there were plenty of great flashes of brilliance throughout the year. He was definitely hamstrung by reliability issues, matching teammate Jean-Eric Vergne with five retirements.

My only concern with him for now is whether he’s being brought up to Red Bull too quickly. New teammate Daniel Ricciardo had a half season at HRT and two full years at Toro Rosso before his promotion, while Kvyat gets the call-up after a single season. The timing is right but you wonder given Red Bull’s quick trigger how long they’ll have the patience. Still, the opportunity is there and if Kvyat makes the year one to year two leap next season as seen by Valtteri Bottas this season, look out.